Vitamin D trial for knee Osteoarthritis

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital starts recruiting participants for a knee arthritis trial today. The hospital is one of four centres in the UK participating in a national trial funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign that will look at whether Vitamin D can slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis in people over 50.

Osteoarthritis is the commonest form of arthritis and an important cause of disability in the elderly, early forms of the disease can be detected in almost everyone over the age of 40. At present there are no treatments that can prevent this condition or halt its progression, and current treatments are aimed merely at controlling pain and trying to keep people active and mobile.

Recently, data from large population studies has provided a suggestion that certain components of diets may influence the disease and there has been growing interest in the contribution of vitamin D. In the study, researchers plan to study 800 people with the early stages of knee osteoarthritis over 3 years to determine if vitamin D can prevent the destruction of cartilage and whether people experience less pain. As vitamin D is relatively safe and cheap to administer, the findings may have important implications for the general population and to the NHS.

Researchers are asking men and women over the age of 50 with knee pain to consider taking part by calling Jackie Tilston on 01603 287 010 or 01603 286 616.

The study involves participants being randomised to receive either vitamin D pills or a placebo for three years. Participants will be asked to visit the hospital every 6 months for three years (plus a screening appointment to assess eligibility and a safety assessment at three months). A qualified nurse will assess participants which will include filling in questionnaires, having a knee X-ray, and giving blood and urine samples.

The research is funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign, a charity that aims to “support the highest quality research into the cause, cure and treatment of arthritis and related musculoskeletal diseases”.

Locally, the research is being managed by Professor Alex MacGregor, a Consultant Rheumatologist at the NNUH and Professor of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the University of East Anglia.

If you are interested in participating in this trial, or would like more information, please contact:

Jackie Tilston, Chronic Illness Research Facilitator
Telephone: 01603 287 010 or 01603 286 616
Address: R&D Office, Level 3 East Block, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich NR4 7UY.

Monday 18th of September 2006 04:00:39 PM